There are only ‘a few hours’ left to agree to a Brexit trade deal

European Commission UK Task Force Chief Negotiator, Michelle Barnier.

Thierry Monase | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON – The UK and the European Union are running out of time to agree on terms of a post-Brexit trade arrangement, EU chief negotiator Michelle Barnier has warned.

The two sides have given contradictory messages in recent days about the possibility of a trade deal before Britain leaves the EU orbit in a two-week period.

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels on Friday, Barner said the talks had reached a “moment of truth”.

“If we want the agreement to go into effect on January 1st, we have a little time left to work through these negotiations in a useful fashion, just a few hours,” Barner said.

“Agreements are likely to be reached but the path to such an agreement is very narrow.”

The deal is probably. Tariff free trade between the UK and the EU will be ensured after December 31, but major controversies over issues such as fisheries have continued to be debated in recent weeks.

Both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attacked Downbeat Tone after a phone call on Thursday night, suggesting Johnson that a deal was not possible unless the bloc was willing to make concessions on fisheries. Meanwhile, von der Leyen acknowledged that the deal would be “very challenging” at this stage.

It comes a day after von der Leyen announced that a “narrow way” had emerged for both sides to agree to a deal before the deadline.

Sterling with a%. %% decline against the dollar during Friday morning trading in London, which in recent days was hopefully a avoidable environment for a hurtful “no deal”.